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Adult Add

When people think of attention deficit disorder (ADD) they usually think of it as a childhood disorder. Many people are shocked to learn that ADD affects adults also. Most adults with ADD either had it as a child and were treated for it or for one reason or another were never properly diagnosed.

If you are an adult with ADD you might find yourself struggling in the skills needed to advance to your fullest potential on your job. You probably find that you have good intentions to complete a project but just can’t get yourself motivated to start or finish. You often miss deadlines or forget important appointments.

Off the job you find your family life just as chaotic. You forget things often, the bills don’t get paid on time. The household repair list keeps getting longer and you just can’t motivate yourself to finish what you start. You may even find that you get more traffic tickets than the average person because you are so easily distracted.

Check out this list of symptoms from the DSMV-IV criteria for ADD :

TABLE 1
DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD Either (1) or (2): Six (or more) of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
Inattention Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work or other activities Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions) Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities Often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework) Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books or tools) Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli Is often forgetful in daily activities Six (or more) of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
Hyperactivity Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
Often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness) Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly Is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor” Often talks excessively Impulsivity
Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed Often has difficulty awaiting turn Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games) Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 7 years. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home). There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning. ADHD = attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Reprinted with permission from American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 1994:83-4. Copyright 1994. If these symptoms sound familiar then make an appointment with your personal physician. Your doctor will screen you and make a proper diagnosis. They will discuss with you all the current treatments for adults with ADD.

Seek out on-line support groups and counseling especially geared to adults with ADD. You will be surprised to learn that having ADD has some positive affects also. Adults with ADD are known to be more creative individuals. They are spontaneous and enthusiastic in life. Adults with ADD have quick minds that absorb information quite quickly if it is something that really sparks their interest. With their high energy levels they can accomplish great things once they learn to overcome the negative affects of ADD.